Wyant's score: Living fantasy on the board
White Hall has an official community center building, but the real community center is across the street at Wyant's Store. Inside the front door of this quintessential country store, at a table with a couple of chairs, newly elected Albemarle supervisor David Wyant sits in his "office."
Wyant's roots go deep in White Hall. He knows everyone who walks in and has a quip for each. Across the street is the house his grandparents lived in, and his great-grandparents lived beside the store.
An NFL referee for 13 years, Wyant just missed getting to officiate the Super Bowl, but he was at the championship game in Boston. And he doesn't limit his reffing to the NFL. While he no longer umpires baseball games, he still does lacrosse and basketball matches. He says basketball is the hardest game to officiate.
For someone who's officially retired after a 30-year career as an engineer with VDOT, Wyant isn't exactly lolling around.
This particular day, he was up at 4:30am. He had a meeting around 8am at the store. He had an interview with The Hook and another with Channel 29 to discuss the Super Bowl. He had some drawings to do for his consulting business, and he was scheduled to officiate at two Western Albemarle basketball games that night.
"You work more now than before you retired," says his wife, Gail, who sits in on the interview.
When her husband decided to run for the Board of Supervisors, "she walked out of the store," he relates.
So how does he keep all those balls in the air? "My life is time management," he explains, adding, "I don't sleep much."
The new supe thinks his background in sports and engineering makes him a natural fit for the Board of Supervisors. From the sports side, there's the importance of teamwork and experience calling the plays. "I'm making decisions every day," he says.
He defines his professional life: "Civil engineers serve the public. That's what 'civil' means, and that's the training."
Wyant has a lot of public to serve. His rural district stretches from Advance Mills to Afton to Batesville. And for all of Charlottesville's rosy unemployment figures, many of his constituents were hurt when ConAgra left Crozet. "I have a lot of folks here who've lost their jobs or can barely make ends meet," he says.
With Crozet a designated growth area, he wants to see more jobs and infrastructure come along with the inevitable houses.
Gail Wyant mentions what's probably a first for an Albemarle County supervisor: His picture is in Sports Illustrated this week. She has to mention it because, "I don't blow my own horn," says Wyant.
Who did he pull for in the Super Bowl? "I really don't care who wins," he says. "I want to see the officials do well."
What brought you here? Mom and Dad
What's worst about living here? Increased traffic and loss of farms
Favorite hangout? Wyant's Store
Most overrated virtue? Work hard and you'll be successful.
What would people be surprised to know about you? I do not like to speak in public.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? To relax more and spend time not doing anything
What accomplishment are you proudest of? To have entered politics and won
What do people find most annoying about you? I try to not be annoying to people, but it may be that I want the facts before making a decision.
Whom do you admire? The everyday person, not recognized by many, who has been a blessing to our society
Favorite book? No one particular book, but I like John Grisham's books.
What subject causes you to rant? Cruelty toward people, particularly toward less fortunate individuals
What creeps you out about life in the 21st century? The increased speed of life due to technological changes
What do you drive? Pickup truck
What's in your car CD/tape player right now? Gospel music
What's your next journey? Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, or a cruise
What's the most trouble you've ever gotten in? Too many basketball games at UVA's Mem Gym rather than studying during my first year, thus I got on the other dean's list.
What do you regret? Not pursuing my football career at UVA
Favorite comfort food? Apple pie and ice cream
What's always in your refrigerator? Yogurt
Must-see TV? Local news
Favorite cartoon? Road Runner
Describe a perfect day. Work all day and not be interrupted
Walter Mitty fantasy? I'm living mine.
Who'd play you in the movie? Harrison Ford
Most embarrassing moment? In my first officiating assignment at a high school football game, my backside became exposed because the only knickers I could find in Charlottesville were 10 sizes bigger than I wore and did not have belt loops in the back.
Best advice you ever got? Be a good listener.
Favorite bumper sticker? I may be slow, but I'm ahead of you.
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO